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Here's to 38!

Well... I celebrated another trip around the sun on Monday! We got lucky with pure sunshine, and the freedom to hang on some beautiful beaches, enjoy a little brunch together - and take in this gorgeous sunset on my own.

With a birthday this close to the New Year, I never really thought about my calendar years as big milestones - so resolutions and goals werent so much for me. I did, however, have this overwhelming thing that would creep up on my the week before my birthday - recounting the experiences and accomplishments I could count from that year, and what would be coming in the year ahead. Concerts I had attended, trips taken, and milestones reached. In recent years I feel like that anxiety has thankfully started to dissolve a bit around birthdays - but you can see from just putting this post into writing, I'm still keeping tabs on myslef.

I guess especially this year - when I turned 37 - just a few weeks before we set off from Berlin for our Portuguese adventure... I had big dreams for what the new year would look like, accomplishment-wise. I planned to get this space, Forever for Frankie, up and running, I planned to homeschool my children while learning the ins and out of life in the Algarve as a family of expats. I planned to be back and forth from Portugal to Berlin, and from Portugal to the US - traveling as a family, and on my own with the kids sometimes. Tommy and I planned to run a half marathon in Rome in March, and make a road trip to celebrate friends in Spain in July.

We all know that life in 2020 turned out a bit different than planned though - and if I want to be critical of myself, besides the fact we couldnt travel, my other goals - homeschooling and blogging - didn't make it as far as I had dreamed. BUT - I have decided those goals might have been where I started this year - but its been a year of pivots, and pivot I have!The year has been a great success in many ways - and one worth celebrating proudly.

I did get Forever for Frankie up and running, and fair enough that I have had other things that have taken my focus away from it these past months.

I moved my family across the continent, by way of an awesome little road trip, and moved them again from the southern coast of the Algarve, up to the Lisbon area.

I have learned a new system of life, alongside Tommy - finding new apartments to call home, finding the products that make our house run, learning new vocabulary at the supermarkets, and being able to recite my tax number at any Portuguese purchase.

I have put myself out there and made friends from mere facebook connections - friendships that I look forward to nurturing and watching how they grow in 2021.

I have also managed to grow my 3rd baby in just 3 1/2 years (and working through all the appointments on my own).

I have continued to follow my heart in education as well as a few new passions, devoted some free time to online learning, and been able to apply it directly to the innerworkings of our home.

I have also tried to find a peace in the here and now - not comparing my accomplishments against the accomplishments of others... but being thankful that I am living this life - mothering my children, learning new creative skills, nurturing relationships both near and far and building a home that goes with us wherever we are - and that is pretty darn empowering.

So - for 38, I'm really trying to keep it simple: I'm hoping to birth a healthy baby at home, and give myself kindness and time as we settle into a new family dynamic as 5... I'm really hoping to prioritize self care, taking a tea when I need it, working on some weavings, learning how to make sourdough, and brunching with new friends in Lisbon. I'm also saying prayers that this year I get to see my family - because 37 was officially the only year that I have gone without them, and I'm not keen on 38 being another one. (Its been officialy 380 days to be exact).

So wish me luck on the year ahead - may it be filled with sunshine, smiles, and special moments.

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